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Exercise and Fitness Are a Matter of Patriotic Duty. Ask The U.S. Surgeon General

Exercise and Fitness Are a Matter of Patriotic Duty. Ask The U.S. Surgeon General

Time for Leaders To Promote Physical Activity & Sport

SILVER SPRING, MD – July 1, 2014 – If you don’t think the state of the U.S. economy is linked to the overall state of health of the U.S. population, think again.  Better yet, ask the U.S. Acting Surgeon General Rear Adm. Boris Lushniak.  Boris Lushniak

“Physical inactivity is the major public health issue in this country. The economy doesn’t do anything without a healthy workforce. It doesn’t do anything without healthy people,” stated Lushniak in the June 24th edition of the Washington Post Live.  “We have to treat health as a natural resource.  We have to put it up on the same level as the economy.”

And what can the American society do to stay healthy?  Lushniak wants all Americans to get active and eat smart.  And it all can begin with walking!

“Walking is something that most people can do,” said Lushniak. “And they don’t need expensive shoes or have to pay for a gym to do it.”

It is worth noting that more than 115 million people in the U.S. are engaged in ‘walking for fitness’ right now, but 80 million Americans are considered inactive, according to the Physical Activity Council.

“Walk 30 minutes a day, five days a week. Think of it as a patriotic duty for the good of our nation,” said Lushniak in that same Washington Post Live interview.  “Let’s start cooking again. Let’s use fresh products. You know what a joy both those activities are? The definition of health from the perspective of the World Health Organization is complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease and infirmity. If you take that definition, you realize what an obligation all of us have.”

"Health and wellness are a national treasure,” continued Lushniak. “And physical activity is one of the most important things a person can do for improved health.  We have regressed as humans from doing what we are meant to be doing—moving.”

Lushniak’s comments – published in a Health Beyond Health Care special section of the Washington Post – have been featured alongside those of other people who are playing a role in America’s commitment to fitness and healthy lifestyles.

As far as exercise is concerned, Lushniak says we must get back to basics, as the American population did years ago.

“We used to walk as a society,” stated Lushniak to Washington Post Live.

During a recent speech in Indianapolis as a guest of the American College of Sports Medicine, Lushniak told a group of 60 local health officials and Indianapolis Star reporter Barb Berggoetz that "if we're going to survive as a nation, if we're going to thrive as a nation, we really have to change that focus on sickness and illness to one of health, prevention and wellness."

“It is time that leaders in our country promote the real importance of physical activity, exercise and sport,” says Jim Baugh, founder of PHIT America.  “Just think of what exercise means -- better health, lower health care costs, longer lives, better academics, better human spirit, and much more. It is time for all leaders to get America in shape. It is a great way to celebrate the birthday of our country.”

To help combat the ‘inactivity pandemic,’ PHIT America has a great resource on PHITAmerica.org called Participate, to help Americans get more active, fit and healthy in over 50 different types of activities. This section of PHITAmerica.org enables anybody to find sports, fitness, and exercise activities in their local area.  It is the ‘Yellow Pages’ of places to play or get fit.

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